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In the various roles he has undertaken through the years, Val J. Halamandaris has been a singular driving force behind the policy and program initiatives resulting in the recognition of home health care as a viable alternative to institutionalization. His dedication to consumer advocacy, which enhances the quality of life and dignity of those receiving home health care, merits VNA HealthCare Group’s highest recognition and deepest respect. 

VNA HealthCare Group

I have the highest respect for them, especially for the nurses, aides and therapists, who devote their lives to caring for people with disabilities, the infirm and dying Americans.  There are few more noble professions.

President Barack Obama

Home health care agencies do such a wonderful job in this country helping people to be able to remain at home and allowing them to receive services

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Chair, Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee

Heath care at home…is something we need more of, not less of.  Let us make a commitment to preventive and long-term care.  Let us encourage home care as an alternative to nursing homes and give folks a little help to have their parents there.

Former President Bill Clinton

Home care is a combination of compassion and efficiency.  It is less expensive than institutional care...but at the same time it is a more caring, human, intimate experience, and therefore it has a greater human’s a big mistake not to try to maximize it and find ways to give people the home care option over either nursing homes, hospitals or other institutions

Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich (R-GA)

Medicaid covers long-term care, but only for low-income families.  And Medicare only pays for care that is connected to a hospital discharge....our health care system must cover these vital services...[and] we should promote home-based care, which most people prefer, instead of the institutional care that we emphasize now.

Former U.S. Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-CD)

We need incentives to...keep people in home health care settings...It’s dramatically less expensive than long term care.

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ)


Home care is clearly the wave of the future. It’s clearly where patients want to be cared for. I come from an ethnic family and when a member of our family is severely ill, we would never consider taking them to get institutional care. That’s true of many families for both cultural and financial reasons. If patients have a choice of where they want to be cared for, where it’s done the right way, they choose home.

Donna Shalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services

A couple of years ago, I spent a little bit of time with the National Association for Home Care & Hospice and its president, Val J. Halamandaris, and I was just blown away. What impressed me so much was that they talked about what they do as opposed to just the strategies of how to deal with Washington or Sacramento or Albany or whatever the case may be. Val is a fanatic about care, and it comes through in every way known to mankind. It comes through in the speakers he invites to their events; it comes through in all the stuff he shares.

Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence

Val’s home care organization brings thousands of caregivers together into a dynamic organization that provides them with valuable resources and tools to be even better in their important work. He helps them build self-esteem, which leads to self-motivation.

Mike Vance, former Dean of Disney and author of Think Out of the Box

Val is one of the greatest advocates for seniors in America. He goes beyond the call of duty every time.

Arthur S. Flemming, former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare

Val has brought the problems, the challenges, and the opportunities out in the open for everyone to look at. He is a visionary pointing the direction for us. 

Margaret (Peg) Cushman, Professor of Nursing and former President of the Visiting Nurses Association

Although Val has chosen to stay in the background, he deserves much of the credit for what was accomplished both at the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, where he was closely associated with me and at the House Select Committee on Aging, where he was Congressman Claude Pepper’s senior counsel and closest advisor. He put together more hearings on the subject of aging, wrote more reports, drafted more bills, and had more influence on the direction of events than anyone before him or since.

Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Val’s most important contribution is pulling together all elements of home health care and being able to organize and energize the people involved in the industry.

Frank E. Moss, former U.S. Senator

Anyone working on health care issues in Congress knows the name Val J. Halamandaris.

Kathleen Gardner Cravedi, former Staff Director of the House Select Committee on Aging

Without your untiring support and active participation, the voices of people advocating meaningful and compassionate health care reform may not have been heard by national leaders.

Michael Sullivan, Former Executive Director, Indiana Association for Home Care

All of us have been members of many organizations and NAHC is simply the best there is. NAHC aspires to excellence in every respect; its staff has been repeatedly honored as the best in Washington; the organization lives by the highest values and has demonstrated a passionate interest in the well-being of patients and providers.

Elaine Stephens, Director of Home Care of Steward Home Care/Steward Health Systems and former NAHC C

Home care increasingly is one of the basic building blocks in the developing system of long-term care.  On both economic and recuperative bases, home health care will continue to grow as an essential service for individuals, for families and for the community as a whole.

Former U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

NCOA is excited to be part of this great event and honored to have such influential award winners in the field of aging.

National Council of Aging

CMS Issues Several Change Requests Specific To Home Health Agencies

August 7, 2014 12:21 PM

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued four Change Requests that provide guidance to the Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) on several home health policy and claims processing issues.

Change request 8699- Preventing Duplicate Payments When Overlapping Inpatient and Home Health Claims Are Received Out of Sequence

CMS has instructed the MACs to implement edits that will prevent home health claims from processing with dates of service that overlap an inpatient stay. In response to a 2012 Office of Inspector General report that exposed claim vulnerabilities, CMS has identified two conditions where a home health claim could process that overlap with an inpatient claim: 

The edit that rejects home health claims when they have dates overlapping an inpatient stay - other than the admission date, discharge date, or a date during an occurrence span code 74 period indicating a leave of absence - does not consider inpatient stays in a swing bed (Type of Bill 018x), and

Medicare systems only identify overlaps with inpatient stays when the inpatient hospital or skilled nursing facility claim was received before the home health claim.

Effective January 1, 2015, If an HH Prospective Payment System (PPS) claim is received, and CWF finds dates of service on the home health claim that falls within the dates of an inpatient, SNF or swing bed claim - not including the dates of admission and discharge, and the dates of any leave of absence - Medicare systems will reject the home health claim. The HHA may submit a new claim removing any dates of service within the inpatient stay that were billed in error.

If the home health PPS claim is received first and the inpatient hospital, SNF or swing bed claim comes in later, but contains dates of service duplicating dates of service within the home health PPS episode period, Medicare systems will adjust the previously paid home health PPS claim to non-cover the duplicated dates of service.

For more on this change request, please click here.

Change Request 8710-PreventingPayment on Requests for Anticipated Payment (RAPs) When Home Health Beneficiaries are Enrolled in Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans

Current Medicare systems edit reject claims for home health episodes when a beneficiary is enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.  However, Requests for Anticipated Payment (RAPs) for such episodes are currently being paid.

Effective January 1, 2015, edits will be put n place to ensure that RAPs with "From" dates falling within Medicare Advantage enrollment periods are processed, but are paid at zero percent. If a final claim is received it will be rejected, as is currently the process.  Additionally, the requirements add remittance advice coding to zero-paid RAPs processed in Medicare Secondary Payer situations, so that the two situations can be distinguished. In the future, CMS will seek a new alert remittance advice remark code to specifically identify the Medicare Advantage cases also.

For more on this change request, please click here.

Change Request 8813- DiagnosisReporting on Home Health Claims

Effective January 1, 2015, the MACs will implement edits to reject HH claims that list a manifestation code as a primary diagnosis.

An analysis of Outcome Assessment and Information Set (OASIS) records and claims for CY 2011 revealed that some agencies were not complying with the coding guidelines when reporting the primary diagnosis, in particular with regards to certain codes that require the underlying condition be sequenced first followed by the manifestation.

The principal diagnosis reported on the home health claim shall be the ICD-9-CM code that is most related to the current home health plan of care. HHAs shall not submit manifestation codes as the primary diagnosis.

For more on this change request, please click here.

Change Request 8818 -Clarification of the Confined to the Home Definition in Chapter 15, Covered Medical and Other Health Services, of the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual

In the calendar year 2012 Home Health PPS Final Rule published on November 4, 2011, CMS finalized its proposal to provide clarification to the Benefit Policy Manual language regarding the definition of a patient being "confined to the home.”

In October 2013, CMS issued change request 8444 to clarify the definition of “confined to the home” to more accurately reflect the definition articulated in Sections of 1814(a) and 1835(a) of the Social Security Act. At that time, chapter 2 of the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual was revised. Change request 8818 also updates chapter 15 of the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual to reflect the clarification of “confined to the home” definition.

For more on this change request, please click here.




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